Dusty - Silicon Snow
Catanich returns to the thrilling historical fiction he has so brilliantly made his own. This is the first of seven side stories from the infamous Gopal affair told as a chillingly dark, hard-edged series of novels of theft, conspiracy and espionage.
Dusty - Silicon Snow
I had been working in Santa Clara for 9 months when a friend received a major promotion and became her company's European trainer. What made this so important was that she was one of the first female System Engineer Trainers whose new assignment would be setting up and training clients throughout Western Europe. Of course, a going away party was required.
What started out as a small party very quickly got large as each invited person invited someone, and they brought others.
A business friend Dan Asumi, brought his wife, who invited her best friend, Dara. Dara had finally met a real nice person named Paul and they had become a "holiday item". Paul asked some of his friends to join them.
I had met Dara several times before. Paul was a great dancer but you could also see he was there for other reasons. He was selling openly! You could also see that Dara was getting pissed and told him to stop.
I really can't say when this guy Sean showed up, but he spent most of his time with one of the women I worked with.
I must have been on my 7th Ginger Ale when Dara came up to me and asked for a ride home. Paul said something to her that angered her. Now, Dara lived less than 5 miles from there so it was no big deal. The drive to Dara's apartment went fast; she thanked me and went in.
On my way back, the Santa Clara Sherriff's Office had setup a speed trap about a mile from the bar and now was checking for Friday night drinkers.
When I returned to the bar, I warned everyone and at the stroke of midnight, we all turned into pumpkins, paid our bill, and walked out to our cars.
My wife was smashed and looking out of one eye to navigate. As we drove away, we could see that the cops had pulled over many of the partygoers and god knows for what.
I was about a mile away from the bar doing 45 in a 30 zone when the flashing red light came on. As the officer walked up, I rolled down the window and got the "Good morning. May I see your drivers' license and registration?"
"It looks like you two were at the party up the street tonight and we are stopping everyone that was there. Have you been drinking this evening?"
Half asleep, my wife piped up with a loud "Yep" and that brought a big smile to the officer's face.
"How about you sir"?
"No, this was a Ginger Ale evening" and I blew in his face. "See".
"Ok, I'll be right back".
My wife had finally quieted down somewhat and finally stopped singing with the radio. She was just about to fall asleep when the officer came up and said "I'm going to cite you for doing 40 in a 30, please sign here. And don't even think about letting her get close to the wheel. There were 14 arrests from the party so far this evening, all for DUI".
"Understood, and thank you officer". Now… how dumb is it to thank a cop for giving you a ticket? Oh well, it could have been worse.
In hindsight, if I would have noticed, the Officer signed the ticket as Carl Dusitmier, Santa Clara Sherriff's Office. More important, he wasn't done giving out citations.
Less than a half-mile back Paul was bitching at Sean about Dara ditching him. Paul had consumed seven drinks and now he decided that he was going to drive. Sean had also been in the Porsche with Paul when he was drunk and tonight he was not going to have any part of it. That's was what started the argument.
"Look Dara ditched you because you're drunk, were swearing, and you shouldn't have called her a slut" Sean said.
"Well… she didn't have to embarrass me".
"Hey dude, you're the embarrassment. You talk about me being [email protected]#ed up. Look at yourself. You bastard, not only are you drunk but you're stoned. Remember, you made it clear when I started with you that we should never touch our shit. Dude you did and it's going to end. Understand! Now get the [email protected]# out of car. I'm going to drive".
"[email protected]# you" but he did throw the keys at Sean.
They were still arguing when the red lights came on and ended the argument. As the officer walked up, he said "Good morning. May I see your driver's license and registration?"
Sean gave him his driver's license and the car's registration. Dusitmier asked, "You two were at the party up the street? Right?"
"Yes sir and we are heading home right now".
"Have you been drinking this evening sir?"
"I had one. Why" Sean answered?
"You mind getting out and coming with me?"
As Sean got out and stood behind the car, the officer flashed his light in his face and then did a double take.
"Here you want a better look" as Sean pulled back his hair. "My ex shot me. You happy?"
How many times had Dusitmier wanted to say the same thing when girls wanted to "look at the holes?" Instead, he just said, "Been there son. Please turn around; I want to pat you down." With that, Dusitmier found, in Sean's right front pocket, one slightly used ounce of pot.
"Well, this is going to make for a very bad evening for you. Do you have any more of this?"
"No sir, but I can if you want me to" Sean kidded.
"That's not what I asked you. Do you have any more in your car now?"
"Does your friend there have any on him?"
"I doubt it. Look at him".
"Can you drive with your problem?"
"Ok, I'm going to give you a choice, drive over to that motel, and check in until morning or get arrested tonight. Your choice?"
"Sir, I think I would like to check in to that motel if I may".
"Smart decision, now, drive this over there, lock it up and check in, understand. It will not be smart to drive away, understand".
"You still live at this address in Half Moon Bay?"
"Yes sir" and with that Sean got his registration and drivers license back. Dusitmier got an ounce of pot and an address.
Although Paul argued at first, when the options were explained to him, he understood that there was no choice. The motel was where they were going to stay this evening.
The room was clean but smelled like cigarettes and just before he fell asleep "Hey Sean, I forgot, I got everything in the nose of the car. You want to get it".
With that, Sean walked down and pulled out of the nose of the Porsche, a duffle bag with the drugs and $4,700 in it. It had been a good evening for sales and now it seemed, one of the luckiest he had ever had.
Morning came early for Dusitmier. His shift had been over for 2 hours, and was now sitting down the street from where the Porsche was parked.
It was a part time Sherriff job that Dusitmier had agreed to. Actually, it was a compromise with the SCSO shrink as to whether he was still able to do his duties. The agreement was part time for the first 6 months or probation and then they would reevaluate the full time request. Where LA was very ruff, Santa Clara was soft. Here, there were over paid engineers drinking and doing drugs. It was easy duty after all the traffic stops and every one paid the ticket. Not one ever challenged them.
It was around 8:30 am when Sean and Paul dragged their butts out of the motel and got to their car. Just as Dusitmier thought, there were more drugs in the car. With a big smile, he had found what he had been looking for.
"What a great Saturday morning" Dusitmier thought. "Now to reel them in".
He knew he had the connections down south if he needed to get the drugs but to distribute anything in LA had become suicide. The turf wars were escalating, but here, it was easy pickings.
As Paul sped off, it wasn't hard to follow them. They first hit a bank where it appeared that they made a deposit and then headed for the freeway going north. The address given was in Half Moon Bay so he knew where they were heading but at the speed the Porsche was going, it would be "a coin flip" if they would get there alive. As they entered Half Moon Bay, they pulled into McDonald's.
Dusitmier followed and would see how his new partners would react to the new arrangement that they were about to find themselves in. As he walked up, he said "Hi. Remember me? You're Sean and you're Paul, right. And the three of us know that the nose of your Porsche will send both of you away for 25 years. I'm here to help stay out of prison. May I sit down?"
As Paul looked at Sean, he said, "Sure, I guess…"
"My offer is simple," Dusitmier said. "I want access to the drugs, and clients that need them. Remember, I'm always informed when a bust is to take place and I could give you a warning. You are making good money, and I want half. If you say no, then you will not be able to drive anywhere without being stopped. Of course, that would make a small operation like yours very hard to do. So think it over and I will be in contact".
As he got up and left, they knew they had no real options, and both knew he had "the badge and gun". Paul had the client list and knew it had become harder and harder to get the quantity of product needed to supply them. Now with Dusitmier, they would be able to deal directly with the main suppliers. "You know this might not be bad at all," Paul finally said.
That evening, Paul had a small party with some local friends. Around 11 at night as things were quieting down; there was a knock on the door. There stood Dusitmier.
"Hi, mind if I join you" he asked?
"Ah sure, come on in. We were wondering when you would show up again. Hey, I never got your name".
"Ramos, Jason Ramos" Dusitmier answered.
"Hey everyone, I want you to meet Jason Ramos, he's in from LA" Paul yelled.
"You want something to drink" Sean asked?
"A beer would be great".
It wasn't exactly what Dusitmier was expecting but both Sean and Paul understood that there was only one option for them. As the night went on, Paul created a great cover story for him. Finally, a blonde found him quite charming and dragged him into the bedroom.
Morning came early for Dusitmier because of the barking dog behind the house. The blonde was still there and out cold. There were two other girls out cold on the couch and Sean was sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee.
"Good morning" Sean said as Ramos walked in.
Ramos asked, "That coffee hot, I'd love some".
Daylight was not kind to Sean. You could see how his old lady really messed him up. What made Dusitmier lift up his tea shirt was unknown, but he said, "Here's mine" and pored some coffee.
"How did you get yours?"
"Dumb gun fight that I walked away from. It's also something I don't talk about". As Dusitmier pored the coffee, he said "Your background says you work at Bilog. That's kind of a long drive from here, isn't it?"
"Yea, but I have a small apartment in Cupertino that is 15 minutes from work. I only come out here on the weekends now" Sean answered.
"Where is Paul?"
"In there with his new girlfriend or whatever. The night you stopped us, he broke up with this nice girl. He just treated her like shit and she had enough. He keeps calling her but it's over so he's working his way thru everyone he can get his hands on. What about you, you got anyone?"
"No. Just friends. It's simpler that way".
"Oh, you should tell us something about yourself. We were kind of making things up last night but everyone was so stoned I doubt that they will remember anything this morning. But we need to know something".
"In due time".
"Hey, I'm walking down to the beach to get something to eat, you want to come along?"
It was a 13-minute walk to the beach when they heard the sounds of breaking waves and the smell of salt in the air. Even before Sean could see the waves, he knew they would be big today. Whenever a storm comes in from the North West, the surf gets very large and that brings out the surfers in the area. However, today, most were just standing there watching as the 18 foot breakers rolled in.
Occasionally you would hear an "Oow, Ahhh..." as one of the surfers fell and got creamed by a wave. However, there was also this idiot in the water taking pictures.
Dusitmier asked, "Who's the moron in the water?"
"Oh that's Luna. He is a professional photographer, I think, and does these great shots of guys coming down the face of the waves. There will be great shots from this storm. You should check them out if you like surfing".
For a guy that was so messed up physically, Sean had a lot of friends or at least people that knew and talked with him. After watching these idiots in the water for an hour, Paul walked up drinking a beer and said, "What's up. Where's Sean?"
"He's over there" Dusitmier said.
"Well, I'm going to get breakfast, you want to join us".
"Sure" and for the next 4 hours, questions were asked; ground rules were laid down; and more important, they felt comfortable with each other as the new team formed.